Editorial: ‘Star Wars The High Republic’: Fan Casting The Lead Characters!
Star Wars The High Republic has introduced a lot of great characters in the early books and comics, but it’s never too early to imagine who might play them in future movies or television shows!
Star Wars The High Republic has been a huge hit out of the gate. This new era of a galaxy far, far away takes place about two hundred years before the events of The Phantom Menace and showcases the Jedi and the Republic at their apex as they confront the evil Nihil.
So far the era of The High Republic is unique to a bold new series of interconnected books and comics by Charles Soule, Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel Jose Older, and Cavan Scott. It’s certainly possible this era could be explored in the ever-expanding universe of Star Wars movies and TV shows. Some of these characters might actually appear someday.
Let’s have some fun imagining who could play the major characters introduced so far.
Lula Talisoa / Nathalie Emmanuel
Lula Talisola is a human female Jedi Padawan who trains under Jedi Master Yoda in Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures, the brand new comic by Daniel Jose Older. Lula is a great new character and it’s easy to imagine British actress Nathalie Emmanuel in the role. Emmanuel is perhaps best known for playing Missandei on Game Of Thrones as well as Ramsey in The Fast And The Furious franchise. She would be a great fit for Lula not just in appearance but in spirit as well.
Stellan Gios / John Krasinski
Stellan Gios is one of the most intriguing characters introduced in the first The High Republic novel, Light of the Jedi. Gios is a human male Jedi Master with a strong connection to fellow Jedi Avar Kriss. John Krasinksi would be a good fit for this slightly roguish but charming man. He looks like he could fit the bill and he could certainly play a leading man with a sense of humor. Krasinski played Jim on The Office and directed the horror movie The Quiet Place.
Vernestra Rwoh / Olivia Cooke
Vernestra “Vern” Rwoh is the protagonist at the heart of Justina Ireland’s YA novel, A Test Of Courage. Vernestra Rwoh is a Mirialan female Jedi Knight and the former apprentice of Stellan Gios. Young, capable, and determined, she would be an ideal character for actress Olivia Cooke. Cooke definitely has the big eyes for Vern, but she also has the talent to play this unique character. Cooke recently co-starred in Sound Of Metal with Rogue One alum Riz Ahmed and also starred in Ready Player One.
Reath Silas / Tom Holland
Reath Silas is one of the new heroes introduced in Into The Dark, the novel by Claudia Gray. Reath is a Jedi Padawan and apprentice to Jedi Master Jora Malli. He’s initially assigned with her to The Starlight Beacon, but circumstances change his life forever. Silas is young and studious, and in both temperament and appearance would be a good fit for British actor Tom Holland. Holland is of course best known as Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Bell Zettifar / Jonathan Majors
Jonathan Majors recently played the lead role of Atticus Freeman on the HBO series Lovecraft Country, and he proved he’s more than capable of playing the young hero. Bell Zettifar is the young apprentice of Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm, eager to prove himself as The Great Disaster unfolds. By the end of Light Of The Jedi, Bell is a knight and his own man. Majors is an outstanding actor who could do a lot with this character, destined it seems to play a big role in the series.
Loden Greatstorm / Paul Bettany
Loden Greatstorm is one of the most powerful and wise Jedi Masters in the Order in the period of The High Republic. His extraordinary abilities make life very hard for the Nihil in the first novel in the series, written by Charles Soule. Many actors would be good for the Twi’lek Jedi, but Paul Bettany possesses the quiet intensity and action movie chops necessary for the role. Bettany has been in a lot of great movies and is currently turning in his best performance as The Vision in the Disney+ streaming series WandaVision.
Keeve Trennis / Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Keeve Trennis is the Jedi hero at the heart of the monthly Star Wars: The High Republic Marvel comic by Cavan Scott. Keeve Trennis is a human female Jedi Knight and the former Padawan of the Trandoshan Jedi Master Sskeer. Trennis is a strong Jedi sometimes plagued by self-doubt, a dramatic part that would be perfect for British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Mbatha-Raw starred in the classic Black Mirror episode “San Junipero” and will appear in the upcoming Loki MCU series on Disney+.
Marchion Ro / Tom Hiddleston
Marchion Ro is the big bad of The High Republic, a masked warrior who leads the Nihil into a violent war against the Jedi for control of the Outer Rim. His mask might make a potential live-action role a little like The Mandalorian for an actor, but fans do know a little about him under the dome. Ro has long dark hair and gray skin. This sounds a little like Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Hiddleston would be fantastic as the charismatic and devious leader of the Nihil.
Avar Kriss / Brie Larson
Avar Kriss is the nominal main character of The High Republic, with big roles in the books and comics. She’s the Jedi Master in charge of The Starlight Beacon and a powerful Force user. Her concept art makes her look a little like actress Brie Larson. That might be ideal, because Larson who plays Captain Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is an avowed Star Wars fan. She’s on the record wanting to be in a Star Wars movie and has auditioned in the past for a few roles, including what many assume to be Jyn Erso from Rogue One.
Now if only Disney will give The High Republic movies we all want!
Darby Harn is a contributor for Screenrant, CBR.com, Star Wars News Net, and Movie News Net. He is the author of the sci-fi superhero novel EVER THE HERO. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer, and other venues.